“Your Italian…is perfect!!!”

On October 25 2011, I wrote about an unusual encounter  I’d had at the supermarket here in Florence. In fact, before reading any further, please click on this link (if you don’t read my 2011 post, you see, this one won’t be as amusing…Don’t worry, it’s a quick read!): http://margaret.healthblogs.org/2011/10/25/encounters/

So here’s the thing. JK and I have been trying to get together for, gulp!!!, a year and a half now (how did THAT happen???). It’s just that, for one reason or another—she’s busy, I’m busy, that sort of thing—we have somehow never managed to find a mutually convenient time…And time passes…ah yes indeedie…

We do keep in touch, though, mainly via Facebook…She’s an absolutely lovely person (and, ehm, I’m not writing that because she’ll be reading this post! 🙂 ).

Anyway, getting to the point…Today I made a quick, unintended trip to the supermarket. All I really needed was some milk for my cappuccino tomorrow morning (an absolute “must” before going to work!), but, you know how it goes, while I was there I picked up about a dozen other items, including cat litter.

Then, after putting the second bag of litter into my shopping cart, I looked up, and there she was…JK, marching towards me, holding a few items in her arms. Just like when we first met.

We laughed and hugged, and she joked, “you know, we should really stop meeting like this!” Hehe.

She said she’d caught a glimpse of me earlier in the store but then had lost me…But of course she figured she’d find me in the cat litter aisle. Good thinking, Sherlock! 🙂IMG_1022

We stood there gabbing for quite some time…blablabla about this and that, an unexpected mutual acquaintance, colleges (yes, it turns out that we have a college in common, small world!), curcumin and more blablabla.

At a certain point, a supermarket employee asked us to move slightly so that he could scan some items behind us. We obliged, of course. More blablabla. Then we said goodbye, and JK left.

I looked down at my barcode scanner and realized it hadn’t given me a 30% discount on my cat litter, so I turned to the employee and asked if he could help me. To my surprise, he looked absolutely stunned. He just kept looking at me, without saying anything. To cover this rather awkward moment, I launched into my “I have six cats and need the discount on this litter” story. As soon as I stopped talking, the first thing he said to me was:

Ma signora, il Suo italiano…è perfetto!!!” (= But signora, your Italian…is perfect!!!)

I looked up at him, perplexed, “Mi scusi?” (= Excuse me?)

Signora, il Suo italiano…è perfetto!!!” he repeated. (= Signora, your Italian…is perfect!!!)

For just a blink of a nanosecond, I’d been so totally focused on the litter issue that I’d forgotten that, until a few seconds before, he’d heard me speaking English with my friend. Lickety split English, to boot. So, you see, he wasn’t expecting my Italian to be so…er…perfect. 😉

Another blink of a nanosecond. Then I smiled and replied, “That’s because I’m bilingual. I’m a U.S. citizen, but I grew up here in Florence.”

Then I got my discount. 

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